5 Liver Damage Red Flags that You Easily Ignored!
Your liver is the largest organ in your body. Located just below the rib cage, it is almost the size of a football. The liver performs many important functions that are crucial to your health. It helps the digestive process, converts food into energy, and rids the body of harmful toxins.
Liver damage is widespread, and you may have liver problems without knowing it. Because your liver is an important vital organ, any damage or disease can cause serious health consequences. Knowing the warning signs can make a huge difference to your overall health and well-being. Here are five red flags that may signal liver damage.
1. Yellow Skin (Jaundice)
If your liver is damaged, it cannot process the toxins in food. This causes an accumulation of bilirubin, a yellow breakdown product normally excreted in bile or urine. When your liver cannot eliminate bilirubin, it goes directly into your bloodstream. This results in a condition called jaundice, which gives your skin a yellow appearance. The discoloration can also affect your nails and eyes.
2. Abdominal Bloating
Abdominal bloating is a complaint among 30 percent of the population, and it can signal liver damage. Bloating is characterized by a feeling of fullness, tightness and discomfort. Your abdomen may also be distended or visibly swollen. Other uncomfortable symptoms may accompany bloating. Excessive gas, frequent belching and abdominal rumbling are three examples.
3. Abdominal Pain (Cramps)
Abdominal pain is a symptom of many conditions including liver disease. Combined with abdominal bloating and related symptoms, it raises a red flag on liver problems. When your liver is damaged, it functions poorly. It may also retain fluids. This can cause bloating as well as sharp pain or cramping in your abdomen.
4. Acid Reflux or Vomiting
A damaged liver pushes digestive juices back into your esophagus, causing acid reflux and poor digestion. Sometimes, this leads to vomiting. If you are experiencing excessive acid reflux, digestive problems or unexpected vomiting, it could be liver damage.
5. Unusual Stool or Urine
Liver problems can cause changes in the composition or color of your stool and urine. Regular bowel movements can give way to constipation or light-colored stool. Urine can suddenly appear dark and foamy. If you notice these changes, ask your doctor to analyze your stool and urine for liver damage and other problems.
Liver disease can be genetic, or it can result from alcoholism, obesity, viruses and other factors. A damaged liver can experience scarring (cirrhosis) over time, and this can lead to life-threatening liver failure. If you notice any warning signs liver damage, visit your doctor to check on your liver health.
Healthline Medical Team. (December 15, 2014) “Liver Function, Location and Anatomy.” Healthline Networks, Inc.
Johnson, Kimball. (July 11, 2012) “Liver Failure: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments.” WebMD Medical Reference.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (July 15, 2014) “Liver Disease.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.